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Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

Nutrition and Exercise Physiology

NEP News

CHaSE Lab investigates how neighbourhood and population characteristics impact disease occurrence, health care access and health outcomes

Chase Lab

The Community Health and Spatial Epidemiology (CHaSE) Lab uses advanced geospatial and statistical methodologies for its research. The lab is currently using data to characterize neighborhood environments around Spokane’s 34 elementary schools. Learn more.


NEP studentsNEP students serve students at Freeman High School

Emily Kellogg and Kira Miller (pictured) are in their Food Service Management rotation at Freeman High School. Freeman started a new program called “Grab and Go” that allows students and student athletes to pick up a nutritious snack or lunch. Students are learning how to feed their bodies for fuel and have a variety of options to choose from.


Pablo MonsivaisNew NEP faculty member’s research focuses on social inequalities in nutrition and health

A nutritious diet is the foundation for maintaining a healthy weight and preventing chronic disease. To promote healthy eating, public health policy and built environment planning are keys to ensuring that people have access to affordable, nutritious foods.

As part of a two-year project with Cambridge University, Pablo Monsivais, a new associate professor in the Department of Nutrition & Exercise Physiology, launched the Food environment assessment tool (Feat). The web-based tool maps and measures the food environment for all of England at several geographic scales, and can track changes over time to offer valuable information to policy makers who want to create healthier food environments.

With Feat now in operation in England, Monsivais plans to work with his WSU colleagues to see whether similar tools could be useful for Washington. The tool could go further to include multiple aspects of the environment that influence diet, physical activity and health care access. With funding from the Health Equity Research Collaborative, Monsivais is starting with eastern Washington, with plans to eventually expand across the state. His project will attempt to drill down to study the neighborhood environments of our residents at an extremely granular level to create better understanding of the social determinants of health in the state and help guide local and statewide policy to create neighborhoods that enable healthy living and reduce inequalities.

This faculty profile originally appeared on the Elson S Floyd College of Medicine Annual Report 2017.


Campus Pantry Assists Both Students on Campus and Community in Spokane


The Campus Pantry is an interdepartmental student club originally founded by NEP students, with members from four departments across the WSU Spokane campus. Although student members come from a variety of backgrounds and areas of study, they are united by Campus Pantry’s mission to promote food security, both on-campus and throughout the local community.

Campus Pantry’s main priority is to provide access to food, and toiletries for the local student community on-campus. To do this, student members have developed relationships with local organizations to arrange the donation of various supplies, including food, soap and shampoo. Students also manage a budget to purchase any necessary items which can’t be arranged via donation.

Community Gardening and Produce Distribution
Starting in the fall of 2017, Campus Pantry started offering fresh, locally-grown produce to students on campus. This was made possible thanks to a relationship the club developed with the nearby Pumpkin Patch Community Garden. Campus Pantry members worked at Pumpkin Patch over last spring and summer planting and tending approximately 240 square feet of garden space, where they have been growing 12 different crops, including tomatoes, greens, carrots and peas. Throughout the Fall, Campus Pantry students have been harvesting and distributing produce, making lots of fresh produce freely-available to students on campus.

On-Campus Nutrition Advocates
In addition to providing access to food, fresh produce and common household necessities, Campus Pantry members also strive to be nutrition advocates within the campus community. This is done through various events, such as Food of the Month, where students cook and share a unique recipe each month with the student community. In addition, club members can contribute articles and recipes for publication in the club’s monthly newsletter.

Community Outreach
Throughout the year, Campus Pantry members volunteer time with local community organizations, such as 2nd Harvest and Blessings Under the Bridge. These volunteer opportunities often involve food sorting, distribution and meal serving. These opportunities allow for students to start applying their education in nutrition beyond the campus, and gain valuable experience in public health.


NEP presentationNEP Clinic’s Lunch and Learn assists clients on and off campus

The Nutrition and Exercise Physiology Health and Fitness Clinic offers lunch and learn opportunities every Wednesday from 12:10 p.m. – 1 p.m. on the third floor of HERB in room 317. Students present on various topics to the staff, faculty, students and clients of the NEP Clinic. Participants are encouraged to bring their lunch and enjoy a variety of presentations, activities and handouts. This opportunity allows students to reach out to the community and give short educational classes on important nutrition related topics such as, but not limited to, reading food labels and understanding the language of ingredients, community gardening, dietitian approved eating strategies, nutrient timing for athletic performance, cooking methods, mindful eating and the importance of whole foods in the diet.


ChickenStudents learn how to prepare the meal before preparing the food

From Dr. Susan Kynast-Gales, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor:

“Mise en place” is a French term meaning “everything in its place,” and in cooking, it refers to the performance of a variety of preparatory tasks that are done in advance of daily cooking activities.

The fourth laboratory experience in NEP340, Foods with Application to Physical Activity, provides students with opportunities to practice mise en place skills and procedures that are generally done in advance of daily meal preparation, such as cutting up whole chickens and making chicken and vegetable stocks, and food preservation by freezing, canning, fermentation and dehydrating.

Students worked with locally grown produce that is abundant in the fall season, and practiced knife skills, which were employed to cut up whole chickens and create attractive vegetable cuts such as Parisienne, julienne, and chiffonade, as well as practice more utilitarian chopping, mincing and grating without the use of a food processor. Students created and presented finished dishes, including egg drop soup, zucchini Parisienne with julienne carrots sautéed in clarified butter, spinach and apple salad, tabouli with quinoa, and novel salsas made from radishes and grapes. Preserved foods included refrigerator dill pickles, canned and dehydrated tomatoes, frozen pasta sauce, sauerkraut, and frozen chicken and chicken and vegetable stocks that will be used in the production of more advanced dishes in future labs.


NEP students provide fitness tests for medical students

NEP and med studentNEP and med studentNEP and med student

NEP and med studentNEP and med studentNEP and med student

Students in the Nutrition and Exercise Physiology program provided fitness tests to medical students. This was the NEP junior students’ first experience conducting basic exercise tests – the third week of classes. The tests included treadmill, cycle and stepping protocols, and they practiced calculating work, power and energy expenditure from the data collected. The junior students were part of Dr. Lindsey Miller’s NEP 463 class, and the medical students were taking part in Explorations Week activities.


Claire GodboutNEP Graduate Heads to Sierra Leone

Claire Godbout, a recent NEP graduate, is heading to Sierra Leone (Western Africa) this September for a three month trip. She will be working with a nonprofit called “Project Peanut Butter,” which makes a ready-to-use therapeutic food product that helps reduce growth stunting in the severely malnourished children in Sierra Leone and other countries in Africa. Godbout will be taking measurements on children, distributing the product, teaching mothers how to use it, and doing data collection and entry on various measurements.

Godbout wants other NEP students to know what you can do with this degree after graduation, and sends along the blog that she started and will be posting on when she’s in Sierra Leone: clairesfootsteps.weebly.com. If anyone is interested in severe malnutrition or global health, Godbout is the person to follow and contact.

More about Claire’s trip will be posted after her return in December. Stay tuned!


Welcome new NEP students!

On Aug. 16, a new group of BS NEP and MS CPD NEP students prepared for the upcoming semester with an orientation to the program and campus. Please join us in welcoming them to NEP, the Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine, and the Spokane campus!

NEP StudentsNEP students